Caribbean Chicken Fried Rice

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I have recently become a lover of all things marinated. Marinating serves two different functions: as a tenderizer and flavor enhancer. As far back as pre-Columbian Mexico, cooks found that wrapping meats in papaya leaves before cooking made for more tender results. I have learned that you must let the meat come to room temperature before cooking (usually about 30 minutes) before subjecting it to the heat of the oven, stove or grill.If you stick a cold dense piece of meat in a hot pan or oven, you risk drying out the exterior of the meat before you've given the inside a chance to cook through.If you want your meat to cook evenly, do yourself a favor and let it come to room temperature first. If for some reason you can't, then as a last resort, reduce the heat to allow it to cook more slowly without drying out.

Another popular one skillet meal in Guyana is Chicken Fried Rice. While I've made this dish numerous time before, I had never marinated the meat prior to cooking. One day, I was blog browsing and went from Cynthia's site and ended up on Rasa Malaysia's blog. Ironically, I ran across a post where Cynthia was guest authoring and shared a recipe for her Chicken Fried Rice. Immediately I knew I had to try it. I had all the ingredients on hand and usually used everything she had listed except the ginger and sesame oil. I marinated my chicken overnight and the next day, I made my Chicken Fried Rice. It was sooooo damn good, I wanted to drive 35 miles to 'slap my momma.' When I called her on the phone to brag and told her how the ginger lightened up the taste, she responded 'Oh yeah, that's how they do it in GT!' I was thinking to myselt 'really mom? and you never bothered to tell me?' The funny thing is when she said that, I immediately had a taste flashback (lol), it's like right away, I remembered that ginger was always the distinct flavor that kicked up this dish. Next to the chow mein, I could eat this for days and I'm not a leftover girl. Eating a dish twice is usually good enough for me.

Try this dish, it's just soooo awesome. Recipe below and here. Cynthia is a Guyanese now living in Barbados and her site is AWESOME, she inspires me and makes me soooo proud to be a Guyanese. My mouth waters at her photos and I cant wait until her cookbook comes out, because it will be all I will be giving for Christmas. Next time I go to GT, I think Im going on Delta so I can stop and spend the day in Barbados with Cynthia :).
Please check out Thank you Cynthia!

3 leg quarters cut into large pieces, washed and pat dry
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons Kecap Manis (Chinese Sauce), divided
1 heaping tablespoon green seasoning
2 teaspoons five-spice powder, divided
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger, divided
Salt and black pepper to taste

2 cups long grain white rice
3 cups water
Canola oil
1 tablespoon fine chopped fresh ginger
3 clove garlic, Smashed/Minced
Hot pepper to taste
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup green peas (fresh or defrosted)
½ cup diced bell peppers (red, green & yellow)
½ teaspoon MSG
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 eggs, beaten and lightly fried, and cut up½ cup thinly sliced
Green onions (white & green parts)

1. Add chicken, soy sauce, 2-tablespoons, Kecap Manis or Chinese sauce, green seasoning, 1-teaspoon 5-spice powder, grated garlic and ½ tablespoon grated garlic and salt and pepper to taste to a bowl and mix together. Set aside to marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge (this is my preference, if you choose to do this, be sure to bring to room temp for about 30 minutes before cooking)
2. Wash the rice about 3 – 5 times until water runs clear
3. Add rice, water, 1-tablespoon oil and salt to taste to pot. Stir, cover pot, set on high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the pot comes to a boil, reduce heat to summer and let cook for 25 minutes. At the end of that time, remove the pot from the heat and leave untouched for 10 minutes then remove cover, fluff rice and spread it out on a large baking sheet to cool completely
Assembly:1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil to large karahi/wok or deep frying pan
2. Remove chicken from marinade and sauté in pan. Let both side brown. Pour marinade and enough water to cook chicken, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through and there is just a little thick sauce remaining. Remove the pan from the stove and transfer the chicken and sauce to a bowl and set aside
3. Wipe the pan clean and add another 2 tablespoons oil and place on high heat
4. Add chopped ginger, smashed garlic and minced hot pepper and sauté for 30 seconds
5. Add carrots and cook for 30 – 45 seconds
6. Add peas, peppers and rice to pan and stir to mix; let cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until the rice is heated through
7. Sprinkle 5-spice powder, MSG, grated ginger, salt and pepper to taste and toss to mix thoroughly
8. Drizzle in sesame oil along with remainder 2-tablespoons Kecap Manis/Chinese Sauce and toss; cook for another minute
9. Add cooked chicken and drippings along with eggs to rice and toss to mix. Cook for another minute and serve garnished with green onions

I usually like to add fried ripe plantains on the side along with lightly salted cucumbers and of course a few drops of pepper sauce. Cheers!
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Squashie said...

Pepper sauce would surely top this dish off, as if it isn't delicious as is.

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Oh yes! Love me some pepper sauce.

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Anonymous said...

I just finished making this dish.... Amazing!!! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Seems like a good recipe that I can try except for the M.S.G. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I have just made this dish it is ok but I like mine with a balance of salt and sweet

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